Last night we had a dinner party of three married couples. We rarely have a party that is all married couples because we have so many Single friends. And we very rarely have a dinner party in which religious observances are not discussed. Last night religious observances were not discussed. Dinner was entirely veg, but not just because it was Lent and a Friday but because there was a vegetarian present.
I don't think "Charles, King and Martyr" (a major hero of Anglo-Catholics and former Anglo-Catholics turned Roman Catholics) got even a mention--although, come to think of it, I think B.A. did sneak him in. But nobody else was interested in C, K & M. Nope. The Charles who got most of the attention was Bonnie Prince Charlie. You know, people say haggis is just for tourists, and then you find yourself eating it all the time. And people act like Bonnie Prince Charlie is just a sad story for romantic Americans to weep over, and then he gets mentioned at the table over and over again. In Scotland, the '45 never, ever means 1945 and victory. It always means 1745 and defeat.
Absolutely none of the married people present had children. Eeryone talked about politics and their interesting careers. Well, I did not talk about politics--because what I know about Scottish politics you could stuff in a bug's nostril--and I did not talk about my interesting career because it didn't fit in with the other interesting careers. But it was fascinating to hear the rapid-fire chat of people right in the swim of ordinary Scottish life.
The other stark contrast was that B.A. made the pudding. Usually I make the pudding. We had roasted Portobello mushrooms, pasta with roasted aubergine (eggplant) sauce, and bread-and-butter pudding. We ate everything, right down to the traces of pudding stuck to the baking dish. That is how good B.A.'s bread-and-butter-pudding is.
We skipped the whole port ritual because of the very high ratio of socialists in the room. Socialism and segregation of the sexes are not compatable. But that was okay because we had whiskey instead.
I am trying to think of what any of this might have to do with the Single life. Hmm... Not much. Our married guests and Single guests tend to have the same interests we do, really. There is no reason why anyone should not mix up their dinner arrangements and have single people as well as married people, as long as the irreligious are not bored terribly by the religious, or the socialists insulted by the Old Tories, or the rich sneered at by the poor.
And we don't witness that contrast between Married people going home together and Single people wandering out alone. Our Single guests tend not to wander out alone because dark woods lie between the Historical House and the road. They leave in twos or threes, so as not to be attacked by imaginary killers or the very real foxes and bats. When I was Single, leaving parties by myself was the worst.